Tufts Alum Running for President of Nigeria

Kingsley Moghalu, F92, is a first-time candidate for the top position in Africa’s most populous country

Kingsley Moghalu

Kingsley Moghalu, F92, a former United Nations official and deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, has announced that he is running for president of Nigeria. The election is slated for February 16.

Moghalu was a professor of the practice at Fletcher from 2015 to 2017 and is now a senior fellow at the school’s Council on Emerging Market Enterprises.

What he knows for sure. Too many Nigerians are poor and disaffected in a country that struggles to provide basics like security, electricity, and health care (he calls Nigerian hospitals “understaffed and mismanaged death traps”). The “failed political leadership class . . . has enthroned corruption and incompetence,” Moghalu said when he announced his campaign in February.

His solution. Running on the platform of the Young Progressive Party, he pledges to bring in reform-minded, skilled new leaders—with a 50:50 gender split in all political appointments—to address the country’s problems.

His odds. Moghalu, who’s never run for office, faces a crowded field of candidates, including the current president, Muhammadu Buhari, and more than a dozen other challengers.

What he worries about. If elected, he will face enormous challenges, such as ongoing attacks by the militant group Islamic State in West Africa, also known as Boko Haram, and sabotage and theft threatening Nigeria’s massive oil production. Moghalu strikes a hopeful note while campaigning but is also realistic. “Decades of economic and leadership mismanagement cannot be undone in a few short weeks or months,” he said. “Things will be difficult and painful choices will have to be collectively made.”

Heather Stephenson can be reached at heather.stephenson@tufts.edu.

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